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Bring Your Questions for "Bottom Billion" Economist Paul Collier


Paul Collier, an award-winning Oxford University economist, is a self-described Africanist who researches the effects of civil war, aid, and the “problems of democracy” in societies that have lots of resources but low incomes.
He is so far best known as the author of The Bottom Billion; his latest book, Wars, Guns, and Votes, has just been published. And he blogs here.
Both of Collier’s parents left school when they were 12, and his father ran a small shop that kept the family “just about afloat,” Collier recalls. “His frustration at limited opportunities has, for me, been the spur to working on Africa. I do not see Africa as romantically different — some magical ‘other.’ I see it as a place where millions of ordinary people are not able to realize their potential and, like my father, lead frustrating lives.”
In just the past two years, Collier has been senior adviser to Tony Blair‘s Commission for Africa, addressed the General Assembly of the U.N., and met with Condoleezza Rice on her U.K. visit. He has also completed the first external review of I.M.F. operations for the board of the I.M.F.
Collier is a good person to ask about development economics, poverty, population growth, and just about anything else you can think of in that realm. So fire away in the comments section below. As with past Q&A’s, we will post his answers here in a few days.